On just before midnight

The day was hot, very hot, sweaty hot, but now it’s dark everywhere, the lights are on and the witching hour is almost upon us. The heat of the day lingers in the bricks, eminates off of the concrete of the sidwalks, and still softens the tar of the streets. Midnight is still no refuge from the white hot sun of July. You might hide out in your air-conditioning, behind double-paned glass, closed curtains, but heat is what July has, even at this hour of the night. Many of us cannot console our sleep well enough in order to drop off, so we haunt the late night, watching old movies, reading books, drinking water, and taking cold showers in hopes that we might be cool enough to fall asleep. It’s a struggle. The darkness is a minor consolation–at least we don’t need sunscreen to sleep. The day winds down into the darkness, and the creatures of the night stir, ready to run in the thin night air, unafraid of the lingering heat of the day. There cries, shouts, sometimes pathetic, sometimes savage, which hang in the dark, inexplicable and haunting, disembodied and fragmentary, not words, really, but strange pre-historic wails and barks. The heat hangs on like a stray dog with no where to go. People sit on benches and chat, knowing that going home is much worse than staying out late.